Law enforcement agencies are dismantling a major drug trafficking operation in East Central Mississippi. MPB's Ashley Norwood reports.
"Operation Highlife" is what officers are calling the investigation. At a press conference in Jackson, the state's U. S. Attorney Mike Hurst says it lead to eleven arrests this week, many in Philadelphia. Individuals are facing federal drug charges. If convicted, Hurst says they will face millions of dollars in fines or the maximum penalty- life in prison.
"This illegal drug network, involved the distribution of over 40 kilograms of methamphetamine, over three kilograms of cocaine, and over 100 pounds of marijuana. And encompassed multiple states including Texas, California, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi," said Hurst.
For several years, Hurst says illegal drug activity has occurred in parts of East Central Mississippi. He says the investigation took off after local law enforcement sent confidential informants to purchase illegal drugs, thereby revealing suspects linked to the operation. He says breaking the multi-state connection is important.
"Going after the individual purchasers or the individual dealers, we have to hit the whole network in order to dismantle it, to stop the supply of it and to end it from harming our citizens in our communities," said Hurst.
Philadelphia Police Chief Grant Myers said in a statement, almost all the crimes in his community are traced back to illegal narcotics. He says "taking down an organization of this size will have a significant impact on crime in our area."
Ashley Norwood, MPB News.